Steven Spielberg loved The Last of Us episode 3 so much, he sent a letter to its writer

The Last of Us
(Image credit: HBO)

Steven Spielberg was such a big fan of The Last of Us, and of episode 3 in particular, that he sent a letter to writer Craig Mazin to sing the show's praises while it was airing.

In a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter, 'Long, Long Time' director Peter Hoar recalled the legendary filmmaker reaching out to Mazin, who adapted the HBO series with video game creator Neil Druckmann. "I didn't get it directly, but [an actual Spielberg letter] came to Craig Mazin, the writer of my episode on The Last of Us – the writer of all the episodes,” Hoar remembered fondly. 

"He shared it with myself, Nick Offerman, Murray Bartlett and [cinematographer] Eben Bolter. Basically, a whole group of middle-aged men started squealing because their idol had realized who they were," he added candidly. "I think he probably knew who everyone else was, but he didn't know who I was. And now he's probably forgotten."

While episode 3 opened on Joel (Pedro Pascal) and Ellie (Bella Ramsey), as they continue their journey west, 'Long Long Time' quickly jumped back to the beginnings of the apocalypse in 2003, and sees Bill (Offerman) turn his evacuated town into a self-sustainable one-man safe zone. A few years later, his isolated existence is interrupted by a man named Frank (Bartlett) – and the pair embark on a 20-year romantic relationship together.

"Craig may be straight, but he's got the warmest heart," Hoar said. "I think that's partly why it is so universal, because his attention was on the love rather than the gender."

For more, check out our guide to The Last of Us season 2, our interviews with Nick Offerman and Murray Bartlett, or our list of the most exciting new TV shows heading our way throughout 2023 and beyond.

Amy West

I am an Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, covering all things TV and film across our Total Film and SFX sections. Elsewhere, my words have been published by the likes of Digital Spy, SciFiNow, PinkNews, FANDOM, Radio Times, and Total Film magazine.